Posted on 03/07/2012 at 09:12 AM by Global Reach

Career and College Readiness for All Students
Excerpt from Reinventing The American High School for the 21st Century 
ACTE Position Paper, 1/2006 (pg. 8-9)

All students need a strong arsenal of reading, comprehension, reasoning, problem-solving and personal skills to be ready for the world of meaningful postsecondary education and training as well as entry to the high-skill workplace. The importance of a broad and rigorous preparation for today’s students cannot be overstated. For example, analysis of various kinds of written materials indicates that manuals and materials used by front-line technicians are generally more complex than materials used in entry-level college courses. Students are also not simply preparing for education and training related to today’s jobs. They must be prepared to continuously learn and innovate to stay competitive in a highly connected international marketplace and to help create new types of jobs that do not yet exist.

While most students will benefit from post-secondary education, it is next to impossible to accurately project the exact mix of education and work preparation (which might include four-year colleges, community and technical college programs, apprenticeships, and other industry-specific training) that students need to be successful as adults. Therefore it makes sense to establish an objective of having all students graduate from high school fully ready to participate in postsecondary education and to significantly increase the number of students who not only enter college, but persist in college and succeed in earning degrees and/or skill certificates. All students will need to make their own choices about if, when, and how they participate in postsecondary education; but young adults need to be prepared to engage in some type of postsecondary education and training to have viable career options.

Several important areas of action are needed. 
•    First, enrollment and course selection processes should be designed with the presumption that all students will be enrolled in courses to prepare them for career and college readiness.
•    Ensuring smooth transitions between eighth grade and ninth grade should be a key priority for educators, regardless of governance structures. Data from eighth grade should be shared from middle schools to students’ high schools in order to target special help for incoming ninth-graders who are behind grade level, and when possible, to create summer bridge programs and structured freshman orientation services.
•    Allowing students to participate in college credit course work through PSEO, concurrent enrollment or articulation has shown a significant impact on the persistence of students entering postsecondary education.
•    Shared accountability for results is essential in changing the way teaching and learning happens in tradition-bound high school environments.

Reinventing The American High School for the 21st Century.  Position Paper, 1/2006.

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